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- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

June 16, 2013

The Power of SelfTalk

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 8:05 am

Most of us have read or heard about how powerful self talk is. How the voices in our head can affect our performance, our attitude, the quality of our daily life. Yet so often it may not be obvious how these voices are having an effect until something signficant changes, and we can see those effects first hand. This happened to me just this past week when I decided to take on a challenge.

About two years ago, I suffered a knee injury while working with a trainer doing cross fit. It was a pretty significant one, and it ultimately led to surgery last June. While I’ve since rehabbed, I continue to live with the occasional sharp stabbing pain in my left knee, especially on uneven surfaces, such as on the side of a mountain. As a result, I’ve gotten in the habit of telling people that I can’t hike. In the meantime, I do pretty much everything else from cycle to scuba to train on Red Rocks.

Last week I mentioned to a good friend that I was spending a month in Tanzania in November. He said quite bluntly that I simply HAD to climb Kilimanjaro because in twenty years, the snows would be gone. I started the litany about my knee and he cut me off. “Just do it,” he said, “You’ll never forgive yourself for being that close and not giving it a shot.”

The next morning I called my tour operator and booked the Rongai Route, the easiest of approaches.

What has happened since then has been nothing short of remarkable.

The conversation of “oh my knee” in my head has stopped. I joined the Colorado Mountain club that same day and am starting to book training hikes. I increased the intensity of my workouts at Red Rocks. Yes my knee might be annoyed or sore, but I am going up that mountain and I am reaching the summit, come hell or high water. And because of that decision, my hiking days are back.

This past weekend I went back into my basement with glee and dug through gear bags and pulled out all my camping gear, including mitts and gloves that were perfect for Mt Kili. I forgot I had them. Suddenly standing at Uhuru Peak is almost imminent. It’s not just an idea, it’s doable.

My friend’s push to make the decision changed the self-talk literally overnight. Having made the decision to climb Kili changed the conversation in my head. Will I need trekking poles? Yep. Will my knee yell at me? Probably. But the limiting self talk about how my knee means I can’t hike any more is over and done.

Right after I signed up for Kili I wrote my friend, who works in Abu Dhabi, and thanked him. He said, “Any time.”

I am lucky to have that man in my life. May you have people like that in yours who challenge your self limiting language.

You may not want to take on Kilimanjaro, but you may be too scared to go after that big job opportunity. Or ask that pretty girl out. Or learn how to ride horses. Or take scuba lessons. Or go back to college for your master’s degree. I’m telling you right now YES YOU CAN. There are people in wheelchairs who have to use a breath tube who are writing novels. Folks, if they are doing that, then you can, with all your faculties, get past your limiting self talk and take on the world. Get out there and find your Mt. Kilimanjaro and do it.

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